Anger and frustration were in the air as members of the Glasgow wrestling community voiced their concerns over the temporary reduction in size of the high school wrestling room.
The reduction, due to lack of storage as Glasgow High School continues its construction process, caught many parents, wrestlers and supporters off guard as they showed up in full force and packed the room at last Wednesday's school board meeting to make sure their concerns were heard.
"There was a wall constructed in the center of the wrestling room that may have brought everybody here, but I don't think that's the problem," said Sarah Partridge, who was the first to speak at the meeting in support of the wrestling team.
The wrestling supporter's main concern was the lack of communication between the school board and supporters. While speaking to the school board, Partridge, a past board candidate, explained that the problem could have been avoided.
"If all you needed was a temporary storage solution, we could've moved the mats out and found a different place to train between now and next season," Partridge said.
Partridge pointed out if that avenue was approached, the school board wouldn't have had to use any money to put up a temporary wall in the storage room because the whole room would've been available for storage.
The timing of the decision to put up the temporary wall came at a time when the junior high and high school wrestlers were in the process of preparation for national competition.
Another concern of the decision to use the wrestling room as temporary storage is the state of the room itself with sawhorses, tools and saw dust all over the mat. Over time, the integrity of the mat can deteriorate more quickly if not properly taken care of daily.
Some Glasgow High School wrestlers stood up to share their thoughts on the situation when they first saw their wrestling room dwindle in size.
"When I saw the wall [in the middle of our wrestling room], it didn't feel right," said sophomore wrestler Cody King. "We look up to (four-time state champion) Luke Zeiger and now that his signature (on a wall) is in the storage room and we can't see it, it doesn't make us feel good at all."
King's sentiments were shared by freshman wrestler Kasey Seyfert.
"I don't think it's right because we already have one of the smallest wrestling rooms in the state and we're one of the most successful programs," said Seyfert. "We're not even allowed to walk on the mats with street shoes on because we'll tear the mat up, so saws and saw dust can't be too great for it."
Other members of the wrestling team were there to speak, but the raw emotion of the situation saw the wrestlers fighting back tears and choking up as they searched for the right words to express their frustration with the situation.
"When our whole wrestling team went down to the room after the banquet and saw the room, it tore everyone apart," said King. "The room is downsized and there's no room for warmups or wrestling."
Lost in the mix of all of confusion and miscommunication of this issue is that Glasgow is now also without a head wrestling coach as the school board later that evening accepted the resignation of head coach Trevor Newman.
Newman said that the wrestling room situation is disappointing because he feels it's driving a wedge between the school and the wrestling community.
"While I support the overarching goals of the school district and administration, there is a great deal of pride and tradition in the wrestling room. I feel a lot of members in the wrestling community saw this as a knock to that pride," Newman said.
In a statement released by the Glasgow School District, Superintendent Bob Connors said that the use of the wrestling room a temporary storage is necessary due to the fact that the district will lose climate-controlled storage space on the gym floor level during the upcoming high school renovation. Connors said the decision was made to utilize half of the wrestling room for storage based on the information he had at the time.
The construction at the high school began in August, but what worried Partridge and others in the community was their inability to check the progress of the construction online at the school district building project website. The site just shows that the project is underway, but no progress status of the project.
Also in the statement released by Connors, he listed a detailed timeline of what has been done so far at the high school since construction began last August.
The timeline only runs up to this Thursday, when it is planned to move excess concession items such as fridges, and freezers among other things to the stage area for storage until an ultimate decision can be made about the concessions.
For the months of April and beyond, the statement said construction will focus on the locker rooms being split into four separate rooms and a new art room being built.
As some in the wrestling community voiced concerns over the room, Partridge offered one final solution on how to solve this problem now.
"Please take the wall down and we will find you the money to build another solution immediately," said Partridge.
The school board has agreed to put this issue on next month's agenda and members of the board also said they want to have a special meeting which will take place on Monday, March 24 at noon to review and discuss the high school construction after the groundbreaking ceremony at Irle Elementary School.
Superintendent Connors also clarified that the wall in the wrestling room would not necessarily be taken down by the start of next school year, but when construction is completed to where they don't need that storage space anymore.